World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight Champion, Nicholas “Axeman” Walters, was on Thursday (January 17) presented with the Key to the City of Montego Bay.
The native of Roehampton, St. James, was honoured for copping the coveted WBA title with a victory over Colombian contender Daulis Prescott, in Kingston over a month ago. The historic achievement was the first time that a Jamaican was winning a world title on home soil.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, who presented the key along with a citation at a civic ceremony held at the historic Sam Sharpe Square, credited the boxer’s achievement to hard work and discipline. He said Walters’ success is one that many young people can use as motivation to achieve their own dreams.
“Hard work brings the best results. Our youth of today will have another great role model to stimulate their want for success,” the Mayor told the large gathering.
Mayor Harris said the parish was pleased at the accomplishment of one of their own.
“Those, who accomplish great things don’t do so for themselves alone, they carry their nations on their shoulders as we all feel the joy of victory when they succeed,” he stated.
Delivering the keynote address, Minister with Responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, noted that Jamaicans have had many high points in the sport of boxing with many becoming champions. She said, however, that Walters’ achievement was special, as he is the first to win a world title at home.
“In fact, his exploits in the ring have been so overwhelming that I believe it is now time for him to at least enter the conversation about who is the best “pound for pound” boxer in the world. I warrant that no one deserves the title ‘likkle but tallawah’ more than our newest world boxing champion,” the Minister said.
In his tribute, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, who is also Member of Parliament for South St. James where Walters hails, said he saw the promise in the young man from an early age, and decided to support the family.
“I saw from that time, clearly, we had something here in Jamaica. We had a product that we knew one day would reach the top and become a Brand Jamaica product, and today, we have the ‘Axeman” as a Brand Jamaica product,” he stated.
Walters, who disclosed that his next fight will be sometime in May, credited his father, Job, who is also his coach, for aiding in his success.
He also thanked the people of his Roehampton community and the parish for their support.
“I say thanks, because, if there weren’t the people pushing the ‘Axeman, there wouldn’t be any ‘Axeman',” he said.